Dogs For People With Dog Allergies

Narrated from: Dog Problems

According to surveys, about one in every ten Americans is allergic to dogs.

Allergy reactions are not pleasant – if you are lucky, you might just get away with itchy eyes, but some people have asthma attacks or constricted breathing when they are near dogs. So, if you are allergic to dogs, this is like a life sentence – you will never have a dog of your own!

Well, that is not true. There are ways for people suffering from dog allergies to be near dogs! You just have to consider a lot of factors when you choose a dog.

Allergic reactions are not caused by the dogs themselves or by their hair. Actually, people are allergic to dog dander and dog saliva. While the latter could be avoided more easily, dander is the main problem as all dogs produce dander in one way or another.

However, there are dog breeds that are considered hypoallergenic – they produce less dander than other dogs. When you say “hypoallergenic dog”, Poodles are the first you associate with this. For years all three varieties of the breed have been considered a solution for people with dog allergies.

There is plenty of fish in the sea though. Experts recommend other breeds as well. You may have heard that US President Barack Obama had the same difficulty, as his daughter is allergic to dogs – yet there were enough breeds to choose from, and in the end the Obamas picked a Portuguese Water Dog.

Other breeds that are considered safe for people with allergies include: Poodles, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese Terriers, Lagotto Romagnolos, the Kerry Blue Terrier, Chinese Crested dogs, Miniature Schnauzers, Airedale Terriers, Havanese Terriers, the Peruvian Inca Orchid, Bedlington Terriers, Bergamascos, the Puli, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, the Irish Water Spaniel, the Mexican Hairless, and even more.

You may also consider the so-called “designer dogs”. Designer dogs are crossbreeds, and the initial idea was to create new breeds of dogs suitable for people with allergies. Many crossbreeds rely on poodle parentage, one of the best known crosses being the Labradoodle, which combines Labrador characteristics with the Poodle’s hypoallergenic coat. However, not all crossbreed dogs are hypoallergenic – sometimes from a litter only one pup possesses hypoallergenic characteristics.

You may also consider the size factor. Some experts claim that smaller dogs pose a lesser risk for an allergic person.

There are other things you should do after you get the actual dog. Research has shown that bathing a dog more often reduces the allergens in its fur. Bathing the dog twice a week should be sufficient. Frequent vacuuming is also a good idea.

There is no universal answer to the problem of people with dog allergies. There is no guarantee that a hypoallergenic breed of dog would not cause allergic problems. However, research and practice have shown that a person allergic to dogs CAN have a dog. There is always a risk, but more often than not – it’s worth a shot!

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